Buying a home is an exciting time. It’s also a lot of work! You have to do so much research, save up for the down payment, and keep track of all the paperwork. We’ve compiled this list to help make things easier for you as you go about buying your first house:
Start with Design and Architects
To begin, you will need to choose an architect. This is the person who will help you design your home. Be sure to consider these factors:
- Your lifestyle: Is there a particular style of architecture that would suit your lifestyle? If so, choose an architect who specializes in various styles like this house extension in Brisbane. For example, if you enjoy spending time outdoors or hosting large parties and gatherings, then a ranch-style house may be best for you. On the other hand, if privacy is important to you and your family members like their own space at home, then maybe a modernist design would be better suited for your family’s needs.
- Your budget: How much can afford? A traditional two-story colonial may cost more than half of what it takes to build its contemporary counterpart but also provide additional features such as space between rooms and additional bedrooms on lower levels (which might otherwise be difficult or dangerous for children).
- The neighborhood, Does it matter what kind of architecture other houses in this area have? Will the neighbors appreciate having something different from their own homes? Would they think yours looks nice or strange? Do they have any complaints about anything else around them (parking issues)? All these things should go into consideration when choosing which style works best for where exactly it will sit on land owned by someone else rather than yours alone.
Work with a Conveyancer Referred By a Real Estate Agent
- What is a Conveyancer?
Conveyancers like this Conveyancing Marino are lawyers who prepare the legal documents necessary to transfer title to the property. The most common conveyancing transaction is when you buy a house or other real estate asset, and they work with the lawyer who negotiated your purchase agreement. They also prepare contracts for leaseholds, mortgages, probate sales, and transfers of land between companies (such as in corporate restructuring). In some countries such as England & Wales, conveyancing is referred to as “title deeds.”
- How do I find a Conveyancer?
It depends on where you live. In Canada, for example, there are various provincial laws about licensing requirements for conveyancers but generally speaking, real estate agents will have access to them when they list houses for sale or sell them if they’re an agent themselves – so if possible stick with your agent! It’s worth noting though that even if an agent represents both sides of a deal where title transfer occurs (for example when buying/selling through private sale), they still won’t be able to provide legal advice because their primary role is not providing legal services but rather representing their client’s interests during negotiations.
Don’t Forget the Exterior of the House
When you’re looking at a house, don’t forget to look at the exterior. A well-maintained and well-designed exterior; for example, a stone retaining wall should be well-maintained by a professional one like this Sydney stone retaining wall, so it is an indicator of how well the home has been maintained and designed throughout. If there are cracks in the foundation or shingles missing from the roof, this can be a sign that other areas of your new home may also be in disrepair. Make sure that your new home’s exterior is well-lit with spotlights and motion sensors so you can enjoy it as much as possible after dark. Also, make sure to check on security measures such as locks and cameras before making your final decision on buying this property.
Save Your Money
The first step to buying a house is saving money. Saving for your down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and renovation costs is an important part of the process. The amount of money you need will vary depending on how much you plan to spend on renovations and furniture/appliances.
- Savings for a down payment: Your down payment should be about 20% of the purchase price of your home. If you’re purchasing a $200,000 home, that means saving $40,000!
- Savings for closing costs: Closing costs include paying off your current mortgage loan as well as other fees associated with being approved by the bank or lender (like appraiser fees). Closing costs typically range between 2-5% of the purchase price but can sometimes exceed 10%. To get an idea of what your closing costs might be based on where you live, check out this helpful calculator from Bankrate.*
- Savings for moving expenses: Moving expenses aren’t just transportation—they also include packing supplies like boxes and tape; renting storage space; renting trucks/movers to move heavy items such as furniture; having help during unpacking day(s); etc. You’ll want enough saved up so that everything goes smoothly without breaking the bank.*
Decide on a location to buy your home.
Your first step to buying your own home is deciding on a location.
- Choose a location you can afford.
- Choose a location that has good schools and shopping nearby, so you won’t have to travel far for anything.
- Consider the commute time from work, as well as traffic and other factors involved with commuting in general; it may be better to live further away from work than closer if it means avoiding congested roads during rush hour.*
Contact a Real Estate Agent
When you decide to buy a house, it’s best to hire a real estate agent. A good real estate agent can help you find the right house at the right price and guide you through the buying process.
Here are some tips on how to find a good real estate agent:
- Look for someone who has experience with your neighborhood and type of home.
- Ask friends for recommendations, or check out their Facebook groups for agents who specialize in what you need.
- Research each candidate’s social media activity. Look for positive testimonials from satisfied clients— but also see if anyone has complained about them online! You may not want someone who’s too quick on their feet when it comes time to negotiate commission rates with sellers—or someone who charges more than others do (and therefore raises prices).
Hire a Home Inspector
As a first-time home buyer, you might be tempted to skip the home inspection, but that would be a mistake. Hiring a professional inspector will give you peace of mind and help ensure that the house is in good shape before you buy it.
You want someone who has expertise regarding all aspects of your new home’s construction and who can tell you about its history—whether there have been problems with pests or structural issues in the past, for example. You should also look for someone who offers written reports rather than just verbal feedback (which may not be accurate). Finally, make sure they have experience working with buyers like yourself—someone who understands how much information will be helpful to someone shopping for their first home can save everyone time while still providing helpful insight into what needs attention.
Research The Neighborhood
When it comes to buying a house, research is crucial. The more research you can do on the area, the better informed your decision will be.
- Research the neighborhood: Find out about the local schools, amenities, and crime rate. Get to know its history and what it’s like living there today. What’s its reputation? Is it a friendly place to live? Will your children be safe? If you have pets or work from home, how is that going to work in this particular neighborhood?
Get Approved for a Mortgage
Before you can start looking for houses, you need to get approved for a mortgage. Your lender will look at your credit score, income, assets, and debt to determine whether or not they’ll give you a loan and how much money they’ll lend you.
- Good credit score: A good credit score is between 620 and 720. If your score is below this range, it may mean that there was something on your credit report that harmed it—like missing payments or maxed-out cards—and you might need to pay off those debts before applying for a mortgage.
- Good income: You’ll also need to be making enough money each month so that you can afford the house payments (plus taxes) without going into debt too deeply. Generally speaking, lenders want people who make 80% of their area’s median income to qualify for mortgages.* Good down payment: Lenders want buyers who are putting some skin in the game by paying cash upfront instead of using other types of loans (like FHA loans). However, there are exceptions depending on where you live; California requires only 3%, while New York requires 20%. To learn more about local requirements across America check out NerdWallet’s mortgage calculator
Good assets: In addition to showing proof of employment and having enough income coming in each month from multiple sources (if applicable), lenders will also want evidence that these funds have been invested responsibly before approving a home loan.* Good debt-to-income ratio: This refers back again back again.
Make an Offer and Negotiate
Once you’ve found the house of your dreams, it’s time to make an offer.
The first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will let sellers know how much money you can afford and give lenders confidence that you’re serious about buying their property.
Once your finances are in order, write up an offer and provide all the details of what you want in the property (including price). Remember that this is only an initial offer—you can negotiate until both sides agree on terms they like.
Sign the Contract and Pay Closing Costs
You’ve found the house of your dreams and submitted an offer to buy it. Now comes the fun part: getting it!
Once you and your seller have agreed on a price, get the contract signed by both parties. It’s a good idea to have an attorney review this document before signing off on it yourself. They’ll help ensure that everything is in order, from taxes to insurance coverage to how much money will be held back for repairs (if any).
Once you’ve got everything settled legally, it’s time to hand over some cash—the closing costs. This is usually around 3% of the purchase price in addition to whatever other fees may apply (such as transfer taxes). The key here: Don’t forget these fees when budgeting out all of these expenses!
This is a very exciting time for you. You are about to embark on one of the biggest investments in your life. Buying a home will change your life, and it’s something that you should take seriously. If this sounds like something that would interest you, then there are some things we want to tell you about before starting on this journey!